Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones - the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS.
When Dr. Indiana Jones – the tweed-suited professor who just happens to be a celebrated archaeologist – is hired by the government to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant, he finds himself up against the entire Nazi regime.
Although Steven Spielberg's Jaws gets the distinction of being the very first blockbuster in cinema history, the blueprint of modern blockbuster filmmaking was brought to life by none other than Spielberg's early 1980s action-adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which didn't just become one of the finest examples of its genre but even today remains one of the most enjoyable & entertaining works of this esteemed director's extensive career.
Set in the year of 1936, Raiders of the Lost Ark concerns an archaeologist & adventurer named Indiana Jones who is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant after learning that the Führer is after the same biblical artifact which, according to him, would make his army an…
I was recently posed the question; ‘what is the greatest blockbuster of all time?’ It is a question I pondered for barely a second before answering: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
It’s hard to think of a film filled with more iconic moments. In one movie Spielberg, and to his credit, Lucas, have managed to create more iconic images and lines of dialogue in a single film than most filmmakers achieve in a lifetime: the boulder dash, retrieving the hat, the melting face, sword vs. gun, the snake pit. I could easily go on, practically every sequence in the film has at least one standout moment that has become part of the public’s consciousness.
Yet a film made up of…
Quite possibly the best adventure film of all time.
Very much a companion piece to Star Wars, this is another attempt from Lucas and Spielberg to recapture the same nostalgia of the film serials of their youth. Raiders of the Lost Ark is the culmination of their labours, and it’s one of the greatest and most enjoyable adventure films ever made.
Harrison Ford plays the lead with such confidence and rugged swagger that you’d forget that you’re watching Han Solo. The iconic hat and coat are perfect staples of fevered fantasy, and is a figure who can take a punch and teach a class both at the same time. His journey to find the Ark of the Covenant is…
It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
Even before anything actually happens in the film, or even before we've seen Indiana's face, you feel like you're watching something special just by the font of the opening credits. As ridiculous as that sounds I think it's true. As the letters appear superimposed over three characters we haven't met yet traipsing through a unidentified jungle, you can feel it in your gut that you're about to experience something fantastic. It's one of the rare films that made going to the movies a truly special experience.
The film is simply iconic. It's filled with iconic characters, iconic moments and even an iconic musical score. We've all heard the stories about…
Spielberg and Lucas infect Raiders of the Lost Ark with all the glee and frenetic spirit of children who've just been given their first toy guns. It's filmed with such a genuine love of its influences, its adventures and characters that you literally have to hang on to its plot much the same way Indy hangs on to his beloved hat and Ark of the Covenant loaded trucks.
Regardless of the argument about whether Indiana Jones actually affects the end of the story, for me it's about his persistence and determination to do what's right than be a hero for the ages.
That, and the fact he looks fucking cool in a fedora.
This is a review of Soderbergh's black and white, silent movie version. extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders
I think the first ~13 minutes of this are the best silent movie I've ever seen. This is what I've always wanted in a silent movie. When I first started watching silent films, I was disappointed in how much they wanted to force in dialog with the speech cards. This is what I always wanted. Just let the staging and actors convey everything that was needed. It is very impressive how almost all of Raiders works without dialog. There are a few scenes - like the meeting at the university with the government - that don't work in the silent movie. But the vast majority of the…
Identifying what your favourite movie is can be tricky. So many genres, so many different film makers, so much diversity that makes comparison practically impossible. For instance, in my star ratings, I give the same amount of weight to Joe Dante's Gremlins that I give to Kurosawa's Sanjuro...it doesn't mean that the two films equal each other in quality, but that they are very different films that do very different things for me.
That being said, for most of my life, I have Identified Raiders of the Lost Ark as my favourite movie. There are movies that I've seen more (the original Star Wars, Tim Burton's Batman, Jaws), but out of all of them, Raiders has always been the one…
My rating is based on the remixed black and white, newly scored silent version by STEVEN SODERBERGH, which you can watch for free here extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders
For the record, it's a full star better than Speilberg's orig version.
Soderbergh's re-scored, silent, black & white version. I didn't plan on watching the whole thing but somehow I was sucked in and couldn't stop. It is a really great exercise towards understanding staging.
Watch it here: extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders
The score is mostly THE SOCIAL NETWORK and some of Fincher's DRAGON TATTOO stuff. It surprisingly worked for me.
I honestly don't know how Soderbergh finds the time to do these things, but he is nuts in the best possible way.
Great quote Soderbergh pulled from Fincher about this:
"There is potentially 100 different ways to shoot a scene. But really there is only two, and one of them is wrong."
Thinking about it that way, Spielberg's genius is escalated once again for me. It blows my mind how daunting it must be to be able to pull off something like RAIDERS, or any good film for that matter.
Also, Douglas Slocombe's high-contrast photography is so beautiful in B&W. Damn.
Soderbergh's B&W version — yes, I do want to see David Fincher make a proper blockbuster now.
A pick from my film book
Why was U.S. Army Intelligence spying on German communiques in 1936? Germany hadn't even invaded Poland yet...
Still a fantastic movie despite such unrealistic plot points. It's not a documentary, after all. At least there's no fridge-nuking.
It's only now, after watching this masterpiece of the umpteenth time, that I realize that if Indy would have just let the nazis take the ark to Berlin he could have taken down the Third Reich.
Indiana: You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Sunday, September 14, 2014, 8:32 PM EST
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that…